FRANCISTOWN: TAFIC supporters who have watched their side endure a difficult season have once again ignited talk that the club should be privatised.
The supporters made the suggestion during an emergency meeting held at Leseding hall on Saturday. The meeting was meant to devise strategies that could help improve the club’s fortunes.
TAFIC occupy the third relegation spot, in position 13 in the 16-member Premier League. Over the last decade the team has been alternating between the Premier League and the First Division league.
Financial instability is the main reason many believe the club is unable to maintain its stay in the Premier League. Now supporters are convinced that the club should be turned into a private company as a matter of urgency.
“The only alternative we have is to sell or give the club to an investor to run it. It is increasingly becoming evident that running the club as a society is not sustainable,” said longtime TAFIC supporter, William Vimba during the poorly attended meeting.
“A society in the Premier League has no result. Running a team in the Premier League needs money. If a team is run as a private entity it will generate money that will ultimately help it sustain itself.”
Another supporter, Tiyapo Tuelo also said it is vital for the club to privatise.
“The club in its current form is simply unsustainable. We cannot cover operating expenses using gate takings and money from our pockets. Privatisation will bring investors who will strategically pump in money to grow the team brand and make it more appealing as well as competitive. Once the club is able to compete and more appealing it will be
Majority of the supporters at the meeting backed the calls for the club to go private. TAFIC chairperson Carlos Sebina welcomed the privatization dialogue.
“In our next AGM, we have to intensively focus on how we can embark on the privatisation agenda. For now the focus is to finish the league. In the next two year as per the requirements of club licensing it will requirement to run a team as a private entity, which is why it is important to start now,” said Sebina in an interview after the meeting.
More than five years ago, the club tasked Humphrey Nawa, the then TAFIC chairperson to privatise the club. However, the privatisation agenda was ditched when Nawa unceremoniously stepped down after falling out with a section of TAFIC supporters.
After the meeting it was agreed that in the interim, supporters should urgently come up with a fund -aising committee to help the team survive relegation in the tough league.
The supporters committee was also tasked with coming up with strategies that would help improve attendance at matches.
It was also agreed that supporters should group themselves and adopt any of the 30 registered players. Once the supporters have adopted a respective player they will be responsible for his entire welfare.
Meanwhile, Sebina told the Saturday meeting that the team has since fully complied with CAF Club Licensing Regulations and will soon be furnished with a full licence. TAFIC has been operating with provisional licence.